Dia-Logos 7:170-199 (2017)

Georgios Steiris
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
The Contribution of Byzantine Scholars to Renaissance Aristotelianism It is widely known that the Byzantine scholars who fled to Italy during the fifteenth century contributed to Renaissance philosophy. They brought with them manuscripts and produced editions and translations of Greek philosophical texts. Despite the common view that their works were seminal for the development of Renaissance Platonism, a closer examination of the texts and their activity proves that they were mainly interested in Aristotelian philosophy. The vast majority of them did not support Renaissance Platonism. On the contrary they defended both the Scholastic and Byzantine Aristotelianism. I argue that their stance was not the outcome of dogmatic reasons; in other words, a projection of the heated debate between Hesychasm and Thomism in late Byzantium. Rather, they realized that the Latin philosophical community actually ignored the rich commentary tradition of Late Antiquity, which had reinterpreted the Aristotelian corpus. As a result they offered to the Latin audience a different Aristotle, capable of overcoming the predominant Scholastic one, which was heavily attached to Averroism.
Keywords Byzantine philosophy  Renaissance philosophy  Aristotle
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